Enrico and me have just started a census on Debian Services floating around, and we want YOU to participate!

The Debian Services Census is an attempt to gather detailed information about software services for the Debian community. It doesn't matter where these services live or who provides them. For now we are only interested in their existence. 

Services can be anything from the mail forwarding service for @debian.org addresses that lives on master.debian.org operated by DSA, web applications, email bots, command line scripts you can run on debian.org machines, automated package checkers that report bugs to people, Debian-related services that people run on their own infrastructure like screenshots.debian.net and son on. Have a look at https://wiki.debian.org/Services for more examples.

If you think it's a service, then we think it's a service too and we want to know about it. Feel free to contribute data whether you are the maintainer of that service or not. 

Here is how to let us know about the service: 
  • please visit https://wiki.debian.org/Services and verify if the service is already listed there
  • if the service you had in mind is *not* listed, please create an entry for it using the "Add a new service" button.
If you are the maintainer of a service, we also encourage you to subscribe to the debian-services-admin@lists.debian.org mailing list, which is a low-traffic list and should be the contact point for inter-service communication and coordination.

Update: Up to now, 51 services have been registered (most of them within 24 hours after the d-d-a mail, WOW), but we are sure that there are a lot of more services, that still need to be registered. Help us to get a complete list!
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From time to time i want to answer on mails on Debian mailinglists that i am not subcribed to. To have proper reply-headers set, i usually copied the archive mbox from master.debian.org to my local machine.

Now i found a much nicer way.

apt-get install fuse afuse sshfs
adduser zobel fuse
mkdir ~/fuse/
afuse -o mount_template="sshfs %r:/ %m" -o unmount_template="fusermount -u -z %m" -o timeout=60 ~/fuse
mutt -f /home/zobel/fuse/master.debian.org/home/debian/lists/debian-user/debian-user.201111
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Bosnian Beer?

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When traveling I usually try local brands of beer. This became some sort of hobby, and usually gives me a good possibility to get in contact with the locals. For DebConf11 so far I have been suggested to try Tuzlanski (Tuzla)  and Nektar (Banja Luka). Any other suggestions what should be tried?

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I recently had been ask how persons usually not involved in Debian's development process can help Debian. This is a question that pops up quite often, so I thought I should write down a bit of that.

Help to make Debian a better OS
If you are using Debian, and you want something of your OS changed, open a bug report. This varies from wishlist bugs if you want to have an enhancement of a package over normal bugs for stuff that you think is a real bug up to serious or grave bug, if you found a security bug. Send a mail to submit@bugs.debian.org or use the tool reportbug and describe the problem you have found. Find more information here. Be as verbose as possible when explaining your problem. This will make it easier for the package maintainer to help you and to understand the problem. If you are not sure which package to report the bug against, report it against unknown. The bug will be taken care of, there are guys redirecting those bug reports to the appropriate package!
You could also help to verify bug reports. There are dozens of packages around, that have hundred of open bug reports. It will help the Debian package maintainer if you can tell him a "me too", esp for complex problems, or if you found out how to reproduce a bug.

Help by spreading the word
If you are using Debian, speak about it! If you have problems with Debian, speak about it! If you like Debian, speak about it. Read the debian-user mailing list (or a localized one) and jump in if users have the same problem you had, and help them.
All sort of publicity will help Debian. If there is a small exhibition near to your living, speak there about Debian, and how you are using it. Speak also to Debian, we can help you to announce your presence at that exhibition and provide you with information material in various languages. Good contact point for that is events@debian.org, or one of the debian-events-* mailing lists on lists.debian.org. If you need help, ask for it. Also, you can help Debian manning an exhibition. If you see events in your area, offer to help and don't be shy.  Other way to help is working with the publicity team and prepare press announcements, the Debian Project News (DPN), contact journalists or press media if interesting things happen in Debian.

Help Debian to organize stuff
There are many ways to help Debian organize itself. For example the annual Debian Conference DebConf is a big organisation monster, and you don't need to be developer to help with that. Sometimes it's as easy as helping in the video team taping the conference, help at the front desk with registration, sorting badges or speaking to the caterer about needed foods. We also have miniDebConf or so called Debian Bug Squashing parties from time to time. Your company could provide office rooms, you could provide crash space for developers to sleep or even by sponsoring some beverages or food. Also helping around exhibition is a good idea. If your company is willing to print some flyers or posters this can help us.

Help by translating or writing documentation
Debian's website and all of the software Debian delivers should be available in all languages around the world! Good starting point for that is http://www.debian.org/international/ and the Debian Internationalization Mailing list. Also writing or extending documentation is a job everyone can do. If you are using a piece of software heavily and miss documentation, speak to the Debian package maintainer (you can find our at http://packages.debian.org/$yourpackage) and start submitting bugs with documentation.

Help by donating
There are actually many ways to help by donating (not only by money). Surely Debian will accept money donations via one of it's official representation (ffis, SPI, debian.ch, ...). On the other hand donating can be as simple as allowing your employees to work some specified time on the week on Debian! Or you donate machine hardware (probably not your old ones that you used five years and which are not under warranty now any more, sorry...), bandwith or colocation in your datacenter. Speak to the hardware donations team if you want to know the current needs.

I only wrote down a very few areas where you can help Debian, and there are plenty more! Don't hesitate to jump in to help. If you don't understand stuff: ask! But be prepared that you will be pointed to URLs where the stuff you ask for is documented. Helping Debian sometimes starts with reading tons of documentation (and i am sure you will find errors in that documentation to fix!), but after a while it makes a lot of fun to work for and with Debian. Find your own area to work on within Debian, and don't think you can't help. Even graphic designers, lawyers or clerks can help Debian!

I started using Debian around 15 years ago and became Debian Developer around 6 years ago. Within the last six years I had been in various positions inside Debian (listmaster team member, volatile team member, release team member and Stable Release Manager, Debian Sysadmin Team member) and got to those just by jumping in where help needed.

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I am going to DebCamp11 and DebConf11. I hope I can do some productive work with the website team, as well for the DSA team. Maybe I can find someone for a little skill-exchange regarding pylons.

During DebCamp I will most probably helping setting up the local infrastructure, esp for video streaming. Maybe I will also find some time for OpenStreetMap during DebCamp.

Let's hope for a good and productive DebConf with all the other DDs I haven't seen for years.
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[Update: and to Rene Mayorga, for winning the 600000thBugContest!]
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First of all, THANKS Rhonda for pushing me to do that! I did plan to integrate the Debian menubar for a long time, but it never made it high enough on my todo lists up to now.

So, what am i talking about? For those of you who don't follow debian-www@l.d.o too closely, there was a recent thread about debian.org's page layout, where Rhonda pointed the initial poster to the layout proposals from Kalle Södermann. Rhonda was so kind and mainly documented in the recent blog post how to convert the gitweb theme to that layout.

I took that documentation and sat down Friday evening and converted the layout of my local instance of the DSA internal wiki to that new layout. While not everything looks perfect yet, it took me less than an hour. WOW, that was fast.

Now i became megalomaniac. After copying over the current list archive to an other machine (to not destroy the current archive while playing with mhonarc), I started playing with the same layout for lists.debian.org. The whole scripts for lists.debian.org were a bit more complex than the ikiwiki code we use for dsa.debian.org, but i managed to render usefull pages yesterday early morning.

Not everything was easyly convertable, and I still have some smaller issues to work on, but if you compare for example the following posting using the old and the new layout, i think we can use my work as basis for further improvements of the layout. Eg. i am aware that the new HTML  code does not fullly validate using the w3c validator.

Many thanks also go to Kalle, who responded to my problems with the CSS immediatly.

Not all lists are converted to the new layout yet, as a full list archive rebuild seems to run about 24 hours. Also i adjusted some minor stuff in the templates while the rebuild was running, so you will see some smaller differences in the breadcrumbs. That will go away when I start the next rebuild.

So what is next? Rhonda, do we want to see if we can take over qa.d.o? ;-)

PS: if someone wants to generate new icons for the thread view arrows, i am happy to integrate them.
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Now that we have released the slightly updated version of Debian's Machine Usage Policy (DMUP), I am thinking about a major rework for the next version. Maybe we should even start with a completely new text for it. I am currently doing a bit of brainstorming about how the new version could look.

Here are some of my ideas (completely unsorted):

  • Debian is not an ISP. All services are offered on a best-effort basis. While we provide @debian.org email addresses, they should only be used for Debian-related work.
  • Debian resources should be used for Debian-related work only. Even though I think this is self-evident, it should be explicitly mentioned.
  • Data meant to be private should stay private, and not mirrored elsewhere. This especially includes log files and subscription data of any kind. I am not sure yet what to do with anonymized data, but in my personal opinion we should not even allow mirrored data of that.
  • Drop large parts of the document and move it to a new document, called Debian Machine Usage Guidelines or Debian Machines Best Practices. Some parts of the current document are outdated, so let's see if we can drop those entirely.
  • We forbid unlawful activities on our machines. Machines should not be used for private financial gain or for commercial purposes.
  • Penalties might need some rework, in coordination with DAM.

Please note that this brain dump is my very personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of the complete DSA team.

I would like to see a discussion on what the new DMUP should look like. Even though the final decision on which paragraphs make it into DMUP should stay with DSA, I think the Debian community should be involved in the evolution of this document.

Even though i am not attending DebConf10 (actually I think no one from DSA will make it), it might be a good idea if the conference could be used to do some further brainstorming. Maybe having a BoF on DMUP 2.0 might be a good idea.
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Taken from the CentOS Install Guide:

While text mode installations are not explicitly documented, those using the text mode installation program can easily follow the GUI installation instructions. One thing to note is that manipulation of LVM (Logical Volume Management) disk volumes is only possible in graphical mode. In text mode it is only possible to view and accept the default LVM setup.

Dear CentOS, please learn that doing LVM setup is even possible with the Debian text mode installer. It can't be that hard.

I need to admit, it's not CentOS to blame to, but RedHat, as CentOS is a clone of RHEL.
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It's quite silent in my INBOX when master is down.
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March 2014

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Recent Comments

  • Ajit K Jena: We are trying to find out if we can install read more
  • Ana: I was exactly doing the same copy mbox to localhost read more
  • foo: On any normal desktop with a sane MUA you can read more
  • Marinko: Well Nektar was very good beer 20 years ago... Now read more
  • Martin Zobel-Helas: Nope, thanks for that translation, i read it via translate.google.com, read more
  • Toote: Hope that you don't mind that I translated this article read more
  • Toote: Hope that you don't mind that I translated this article read more
  • wd: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/country/bosnia/29/ Go forth and drink, my friend. But it doesn't read more
  • Lure: Sarajevsko (Sarajevo bear) is probably on of the best lager read more
  • Christoph Haas: There is another way you can help Debian - by read more